Donald Trump budget seeks 5 percent cut in non-defense spending

Vastavam web: President Donald Trump will propose in his fiscal 2020 budget on Monday that the U.S. Congress cut non-defense spending by 5 percent while boosting spending on the military, veterans’ healthcare and border security, the White House budget office said on Sunday. The Republican president’s proposal, slated for release at 11:30 a.m. (1530 GMT) on the Office of Management and Budget’s website, is expected to be the first volley in this year’s bitter funding fight with Congress, which has control over federal purse strings.

His budget blueprint is expected to be rejected by Congress, where Democrats control the House of Representatives. Spending bills typically need 60 votes to get through the 100-member Senate, where Trump’s fellow Republicans hold 53 seats. Last year, a protracted battle over Trump’s demand for more than $5 billion in wall funding led to a five-week partial shutdown of the government. Congress’ refusal to grant him the funds led Trump to declare a national emergency so he could redirect funds approved for other purposes to the project.

The White House and Congress must agree on funding by Oct. 1 to keep the government funded and open – which coincides with the deadline to lift the debt limit, or risk a default, which would have severe economic repercussions. Tax cuts have been a priority for the Republican White House and Congress in recent years, rather than fiscal restraint. The deficit ran to $900 billion in 2019, and the national debt has ballooned to $22 trillion.

Trump wants to cut non-defense program spending by an average of 5 percent below caps that Congress had set for fiscal 2019, the OMB said in a release. Trump’s budget would boost funding for some of his priorities. For example, Trump will propose a 5 percent increase for the Department of Homeland Security to help pay for his border wall and hire more immigration and border enforcement officials. The budget also includes an increase of almost 10 percent for veterans’ healthcare programs from last year, and investments in opioid addiction programs, the OMB said.